Anjci All Over | Travel Blog


2012 is soon coming to an end. I have not been particularly active updating this blog for a good part of the year, and those of you who do not know me personally may think there isn’t much to report. Quite the contrary: I rush to confirm that the life of anjči continues its fast-paced course. In fact, I have been so pre-occupied with a variety of activities that the blog has unfortunately slipped off the priority list – something I wholeheartedly intend to rectify in 2013.

Perhaps somewhat less hectic than two of its most recent predecessors, 2012 was a well-balanced, enjoyable year. It was certainly a memorable year for Britain, which celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and hosted the Olympic Games in a single, endlessly joyous, summer. Shivers still stream down my spine as I think back on the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony – a true celebration of this nation’s history and heritage.

British shores aside, I have also done my fair share of foreign travel. From India to Uzbekistan, from Cuba to Greenland, from Greece to Norway, from Turkey to Slovenia – 2012 certainly did not slip by unnoticed. I am grateful for meeting and re-meeting many of you across the world this year, and hope that we can, at the very least, stay in touch in 2013 and beyond.

Like last year, I have prepared a recap of my 2012’s travel highlights in pictures. I hope that you will enjoy this photographic journey – and that it will inspire some of you to dedicate more time to the wonderful activity that is travelling.

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1 January: I welcome 2012 on one of Udaipur’s rooftops, to festive sound of fireworks exploding overhead. Whoever said New Year is not a big deal in India? A few hours later, I am awake again to pace the still quiet streets of Udaipur – stopping for multiple servings of sweet chai and touring the stunning City Palace as the city slowly wakes up to 2013. I catch my overnight train back to Delhi at 6pm, vouching to return to India soon. ~Udaipur, India

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20 January: Almost a year after I set my foot in Tromsø for the first time, I return for more Northern Lights – which, obligingly, put up quite a show! The Tromsø International Film Festival completes a perfect winter scene.~Tromsø, Norway

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11 February: Thousands of people take part in a rally on Trafalgar Square, organised by Amnesty International in support of protest movements in the Middle East. Having visited Syria in April 2011 – when the country was already flared up – I join my Syrian friends on a crisp, cloudless day in London. Over 20 countries across the globe host similar events.~London, UK

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3 March: I break my month-long fast from travel and escape to the Spanish cities of Seville and Cadiz. The intense beauty and multicultural heritage of Seville takes most of my breath away; whatever is left gets used up in Cadiz. The seaside town happens to be hosting its annual carnival, and dozens of chirigotas – singing groups dressed in elaborate costumes – make me laugh to tears with their witty, satirical performances.~Seville / Cadiz, Spain

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8 March: While my visa is still valid, I make a 4-day dash for Mumbai. Whoever said one needs months for India? I squeeze in visits to Dharavi slum, Haji Ali Dargah Mosque, Mahalaxmi Temple, Kamathipura red light district, Gateway of India, Juhu beach, Kamala Nehru Park, Marine Drive, countless other sights – and there is even time left for shopping.~Mumbai, India

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17 March: Berlin may stand united, but another European capital is still divided in two. The so-called “Green Line” frontier stretches for over 180 km, on its way splitting Nicosia into Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parts. Bring your passport if you fancy a cross-over.~Nicosia, Cyprus

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24 March: After a short work visit in Istanbul, I fly to Turkey’s stunning Cappadocia region. The rocks near Göreme form dramatic pillars and minaret-resembling structures – while Derinkuyu Underground City, pottery renowned Avanos and lively Ürgüp all make this rather rushed weekend trip worthwhile.~Cappadocia, Turkey

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28 March: It is not every day that I get to climb one of Slovenia’s coal-fired power plants. The structure seems so massive it is difficult to believe that, proportionally, the walls of the cooling tower in relation to its height are thinner than egg shell. Grand views over the surrounding scenery open from an elevation of over 100 meters.~Šoštanj / Ljubljana, Slovenia

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21 April: It may be visited by over 6 million tourists per year, but the island of Mallorca – the largest of the Balearics – certainly does not lack charm during my short weekend escape in April. Perhaps the season has not yet started, leaving the beautiful villages of Valldemossa and Alcúdia quiet, and the seaside Port d’ Andratx and Port de Pollença – lingeringly peaceful.~Mallorca, Spain

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3 May: Rain is pouring down viciously as I land in Cuba, somewhat dampening my initial excitement. But luck is on my side, and I wake up to glorious sunshine already the next day. Ten days run by in a flash – from charmingly scruffy Havana to the colonial treasure of Trinidad; from beautifully planned Cienfuegos to multicultural Santiago, Cuba amazes me with its deep-rooted history, its controversial present, its astounding mix of cultures and, above all, its fabulous, strong-spirited, wholehearted people.~Havana / Cienfuegos / Trinidad / Santiago, Cuba

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19 May: But it is impossible to fall in love with every country, and Tunisia, my next destination, leaves me far less than impressed. Be it for all the touting, the abundance of police or the unwelcoming monotony of Tunis’s central streets, but I am indeed grateful I have only come for a weekend.~Tunis / Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

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2 June: I finally make it to Chios, a Greek island I have unsuccessfully attempted to visit twice before. This time there is no mistake though: Turkey is looming only 15 km away, mastic trees cover the hills in the south of the island, the UNESCO-protected monastery of Nea Moni attracts a steady flow of visitors, and half-abandoned villages – Mesta, Pyrgi, Volissos and Kampia – all lure in curious explorers like yours truly. The only thing I miss are fancy properties – never mind that Chios is one of Greece’s wealthiest islands.~Chios, Greece

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14 July: If you thought Iceland was wild and inaccessible, try Greenland – with air links only to Copenhagen and Iceland (allegedly inaccessible to begin with), it does not exactly lie on the world’s major crossroads. Of course it means I must visit; highlights include watching the midnight sun reflecting off stunning icebergs near Ilulissat, hiking on the quiet island of Aasiaat and celebrating my 29th birthday aboard a helicopter overlooking a glacier.~Aasiaat / Ilulissat / Nuuk / Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

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12 August: The Olympic Games are in full swing, and I finally succumb to peer pressure and book a ticket to one event. It may be an unimportant allocation of non-finalists in men’s water polo, but little do I care: the Olympic Park truly impresses with its size. As do the water poloists; my trusty Nikon ends up slipping out of my hands and onto the floor, but the photos I have already taken duly compensate.~London, UK

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18 August: 2012 may have gone by without a single wedding, but at least there is a baptism – of two children simultaneously! The sun shines brightly over St. Kingo’s Church as little Maria and Sasha are baptised in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro; the ensuing picnic and boat trip both mark the occasion beautifully.~Copenhagen, Denmark

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25 August: At the close of an amazing summer, I pay Norway another visit. It is fairly rushed, but the picturesque Rauma Railway from Dombås to Åndalsnes, Art Nouveau city of Ålesund, Hurtigruten voyage down Geiranger fjord, and unbelievable local hospitality in Molde all make the trip seem at least a week long.~Møre og Romsdal, Norway

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2 September: On my first ever visit to Lord’s Cricket Ground – and indeed my first ever live cricket match – I cheer for England in the ODI against South Africa. I start off by ignoring my neighbour’s desperate attempts of small talk, only to end up giving him a tight hug when England win. Finishing with a beautiful six, too!~London, UK

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29 September: Official and unofficial currency exchange rates, public sector workers mass-summoned to cotton fields, thick stacks of low-value banknotes, desert with seashells where a vast lake once was – that can only be Uzbekistan. But it is the country’s stunning Silk Road heritage, the beautiful architecture of its great mosques, and especially the hospitality of strangers – unmatched to anywhere else I have visited – that really stick in mind.~Tashkent / Samarkand / Bukhara / Khiva / Nukus, Uzbekistan

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13 October: One needs a very good reason to visit the Irish city of Cork for the third time, having seen it all twice before. I find mine in Rupert, an old friend from Finland. Even the weather cooperates as we make a day trip to beautifully windswept Dingle – quite unusual for Ireland.~Cork / Dingle, Ireland

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10 November: Indeed 2012 is the year of sports events. Following the Olympics and cricket at Lord’s, I finally head my steps to Twickenham rugby stadium – to support England again, this time in a match against Fiji. With Remembrance Day just around the corner, the atmosphere is truly special.~London, UK

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17 November / 1 December: Tired of endless flying, I make a pause from international travel – fortunately, day trips in the UK do not fall into that definition. I make two escapes, one to Viking inspired York, and the other to pretty Lincoln. The cities house the UK’s second and third largest cathedrals, respectively.~York / Lincoln, UK

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22 December: The year is heading steadily to a close as I embark on my third trip to India. This time I manage to see a lot more of the capital city of Delhi before visiting the eerily holy Varanasi, the buzzing imperial capital of Kolkata and the endlessly peaceful Kerala. I ring in 2013 in Kochi to the sight of a Santa effigy torn apart by exploding fireworks – don’t ask.~Delhi / Varanasi / Kolkata / Kerala, India

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Thanks for scrolling through! Have a look at my 2012 Newsletter for the recap of the departing year in greater detail.

A very Happy New Year to you all!



Comments

One response to “2012: Year in Pictures”

  1. Biberlee says:

    I envy you 🙂
    Such beautiful pictures!

    Contact me if you come to Bosnia 😀

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Welcome to ANJCI ALL OVER!

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My name is Anna and welcome to my blog! I work full-time in London and spend most of my free time travelling the world and taking pictures, with the aim to see as many of the world's less visited places as possible. My favourite parts of the world include Afghanistan, Chile, Falkland Islands, Greece, Myanmar and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Take a look at my stories and photos!

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